Saturday, April 16, 2011

Week Five - Going Commando... for real!

Week 5 challenge – Go hard

Commando Steve said: “Go hard or go home, Amy. This week you’re going to have to step up to the mark because I’ll know if you’ve been slacking off. You’ve got extra workouts in your program. Why? To prepare you for a one-on-one, kick-ass training session with me at the end of the week. You'd better be ready. Get psyched and ride that adrenaline because I take no prisoners. It's time to toughen up, kid."

*Swoon*Faint*Drool*Convulse*   ... plus...   *Sweat*Grunt*Moan*Giggle*Blush*

UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!!!   I'm not long home from my whirlwind trip to Sydney - and were it not for the fact that my bags are dumped in the middle of the loungeroom here waiting to be unpacked, and the muscles in my quads, glutes and triceps right now are VERY much telling me they DID do something substantial yesterday....  I'd have said it was all just a bit of a dream?!! 

BUT NO - very much real - very much an 'OH MY GOD, CAN'T BELIEVE I DID THAT!' experience!!!   ... and why my bags are still sitting in the loungeroom!!  Had to share the goss... 

After a HUGE training week - definitely gearing up for my end of week Challenge - noone could accuse me of having slackened off after what I'd put myself through!!!   Monday was a double-whammy Aqua and swim session (was supposed to be a rest day!) - and I even ended up with blood blisters on my big toes for the effort!!   All the thrusting myself in and out of the water not only bit into the thighs and knees, but totally smashes my tootsies!    Tuesday it was a butt-busting RPM class in the morning, then followed that later in the day with 45mins on the cross trainer.  Wednesday was 30mins cross trainer, followed by a grueling PT session with Shannon who upped all my reps, including my dreaded side planks - and didn't tell me until I'd finished the entire session!  My side plank holds are now at 25 seconds x 3 rounds each side, my weights are all up again, my machine leg press absolutely busted my butt, and I was BURNING!!!   Followed that with another 30mins on the cross trainer, and pretty much dragged my sorry bum home thereafter..!!!   Thursday I barely scraped through 30mins on the crossy - my knees were shattered from all the new strength and cardio work over the week, so I didn't push any harder than that - packed up the car and got myself sorted for the next challenge...

Snuck off to Sydney on Thursday arvy, and stayed with my sis in Penrith.  Friday morning, we head off to the train station to head into North Sydney to the BLC offices.  Having nearly missed the train, the butterflies and nervous ticks had very much settled in by the time we hit the city - closer we got, the more jittery I was becoming!

Checking in to the motel I was to stay at that night, we had about half an hour to fuss around, hoover down a sandwich and get prepped (and ME, recheck my bag, making sure I DID have my trainers, tracky pants and HRM in the bag....  and honestly, I had checked and rechecked that bag SO many times already before leaving Bathurst, then again before leaving Penrith, and then again leaving the motel - it was ridiculous!!   

And you'd have very much laughed out loud at the death-grip I had on that bag sitting on the train - god help anyone who thought they could pinch my luggage and run.. bahahaha... Those trainers were NOT to be let out of my sight!!!! 

So heading off to the BLC offices my sis and I went...  Having been a BLC girl now for well over three years, it was quite exciting getting to see "the hub" of the site that's been my "home" for so long - and equally as lovely to meet the guys and girls that I've been in so much contact lately with for the Challenge!   (and note to self: only say nice things on the forums now - the Techies have met me in person.. hahhaha!  HI GUYS!) 

So after flicking around the office and being referred to as "Aim79" (my BLC screenname) - which I found quite amusing  (and resulted in alot of "ohhhh yes, ofcourse!"s).. the girls and I head off to Kogarah... and the Cross Fit Effects studio.

Now, I think this is about where the nerves REALLY started to kick in and I started getting that nervous stomach convulsion thing going on (it was bound to happen at some point... hahaha!) - so by the time we got there, I had some serious jitter-bugs tap dancing in my belly!!!

So walking into the gym with the team, standing right there in the doorway is the Commando himself....  (*swoon*swoon*swoon*swoon*please don't faint amy*)....    Introductions around, and I'm trying not to burst out in fits of ridiculous giggles...   and god help me if I'd have made eye contact, I'd have probably made a complete arse of myself.... !!!

Don't ask me what was said - I really couldn't tell you...  I was too busy trying to stay upright and not make a total fool out of myself...   HOWEVER, I do recall asking him "not to break me..."   bahahaha....!!!     (this coming from the chick who just showed up in full makeup, skirt, lil purple top and looking like she was there for a coffee, not a training session!).    I don't think "The Princess" get up impressed....    Was pointed in the direction of the changerooms, and there was a comment about my makeup!!!     Again, no recollection, too busy trying to remember how to breathe and walk at the same time (!!!!!) ... and HOLY SHIT.... 

I walk into the gym....  It's bare, brutal, "rough around the edges".   I have an inward moment of "eep"....  there's no gym machines or things I recognise, except the dumbbell bars at the back of the room, medicine balls and kettlebells on the side (which I've never used).   There's gymnastic rings hanging from the roof, and a few pull-up bars... and oh god, oh god, oh god....  that can't be good!!!!

So I head up the stairs, trying desperately to compose myself...  (unsuccessfully)... strip off out of my good clothes, and then forget how to redress myself... DAMMIT!  STAY FOCUSED! 

Actually put some clothes back on, including my new hot pink 'double figure reward' shoes!!!   Slap my HRM strap on and realise I'm MAKING THE MAN WAIT, HURRY UP!!!   Then turn an exacerbated shade of hot pink (the same colour as my new shoes, ironically!!!) - and head back down the stairs....

Meanwhile, he's down there talking to the BLC ladies (and my sis) - all of whom are just looking a bit like.... well...  mouths open, head slanted sideways... yeah, I laughed!  (hahaha....  ok maybe not quite like that, but wasn't far off!  I may have embellished slightly!!!).    And off we go... 

SO, given he's never met me - and I'm new to the CrossFit gym system - I get the THEORY LESSON before the practice session....   Didn't know this was coming, and didn't really know what had hit me at the beginning...  Were we NOT doing the hard stuff after all??   (patience my child....)

Lots of "What is CrossFit" and how the body works and moves, the importance of core stability and its effect on natural motions of the body...  and for a finer understanding, buy his book!!  (Then when he asks YOU "Have you read my book?" you won't have to admit you haven't, be totally embarrassed and threatened to make you do 50 pushups in penance... bahahaha!  ... I have to go buy his book now... umah Amy!!).   

We were focusing on the squat, the press and the sumo 'something something'  (yeah, forgive me... all I remembered was the sumo bit...!) - all focusing on core stability and using those major muscles to do the work.... then came the demonstrations....  OHHHHHHHH MY GOD.....  (think I just died right about there...)

Now, I've watched the Commando do the squat move before - there's a vid I found on the Biggest Loser webby, and I nearly died at the prospect of having to get that low, at that angle and that easily with MY crappy knees - AND somehow get back up again!!!    And EXCUSE ME - did he just do that right there in front of me.  Oh god, there he goes again...!  

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.....    

Yeah, see, right about now all you ladies out there are drooling over your keyboard - I just know it - but let me tell you right now, there was NO DROOL - there was terror!!!   

Having told him earlier that I have bad knees - and I'm pretty sure that just compounded the "princess" status with the aforementioned skirt and makeup stuff - I was losing the guy's respect!!!  He'd already told me he works the weak areas even harder - so I just KNEW I was in for a world of hurt, and I'd given him leverage on my number one weakness!!!  Damn you knees, and DUH ME!

So off we go with more squats, press and sumo demonstrations - I get in and put that theory into practice too, desperately trying not to lose focus every time he pivoted, flexed, squatted or hip-thrust, spoke, drew breath, moved.... MEANWHILE!!!  

Just to rub it in some more, err, I mean 'demonstrate' the theory of teaching versus experience and core stability and strength - he jumps up on the high beam and starts doing pull-ups....  Oh my god....  Like seriously?!   Can I please just go excuse myself and sit down and watch with all the other ladies with the drool running down their chins... ?!!!    (told him "now you're just showing off...."  bahahaha)

Practicing the squat, repeatedly, and finding the right form against the wall... knees ultimately decide they no longer want to play and lock up on my final rep (courtesy of huge week beforehand)...  No more squats for Amy!   It's not for lack of wanting to, it's just THEY no longer wanted to (much to my dismay!).   ... but there's more to go yet, so quit your whinging!!!    

So we concentrate on the Press and Sumos - and I'd just like to mention right about here that he commended me on my Sumo form!!   I attribute that fabulousness to years of being in a very "sumo-like state"... hahaha...?!!   Ya gotta laugh, right?!!  ;)    



MOVING ON!!   It's circuit time...

Theory, demos and now practice out of the way - it's time to get REAL!    Oh god, here we go!  (ps: I'm sore already, and I was only squatting and lifting bodyweight and broomsticks!!!)  -  Commando sets up a circuit for me - and takes me through it for a practice run, including how to row with STYLE!  As he said "..changed her rowing style in 30 seconds!" - yay!

5 bays, 1 minute each bay, 3 rounds, 1 min rest between rounds.  They include a seated squat (on stool) rise and throw a medicine ball against the wall between two set points  /  sumo lifts  / step ups on a low step  /  press lifts  /  rowing machine  / 1 minute rest  - and to do as many reps as I can on each bay.


First round
seated squats I hit 20 reps, sumo lifts about 20, step ups about 22, press lifts about 20, rowing machine I hit 10cals burnt...  

Second round
I'm struggling a bit after the first seated squats but I get through with about 20 again, sumo lifts are paining but about 20, step ups the knees get wobbly and I slow back a bit so I don't fall over, spin around to do the overhead presses and I'm paining and struggle a bit, then back to the rower and hit 8cals burnt...

Third round I gear up for the medicine ball and I'm hurting.... but last round, don't flake out now!!  GO!  I barely hit 20, go for the Sumos and I'm REALLY struggling to lift that bar again, but crank out a good amount, step ups nearly become my undoing (my poor head starts to get really fizzled about here as the fatigue really kicked in), and I lose about 10 seconds here just trying to regroup!  Push out a few more steps, then swing around for the overhead press again - and ohhhh my god, nearly had an unexpected visitor join us (my lunch...)...   PUSH THROUGH, can barely lift the bar above my head, my arms are shaking like crazy and I manage only about 10 or so...  then it's onto the rower...   There's sweat pouring off my face and body by now, my legs are screaming, I'm grunting and making noises my sis said later "I've never heard you make in your life!!!" and I'm bright red all over....  Last row and I smash out about 9cals burnt (nearly equal to first round) and I'm DONE....

AND HOW!!    Holy hell - I'm puffing like a fish out of water, I'm red raw and hot as hell (he had to put the huge fan on me mid-way through cuz I was overheating, and to help with oxygen levels!) -  my knees are shaking, my legs are quaking, my body is buzzing, and in just that ONE 18 minute circuit session, I smashed out 300 cals burnt!!!   (usually takes me over half an hour to do that these days on a high cardio activity - half the time but ALOT of intensity!  That was what our theory session has been teaching me before, right there in practice - and I felt every freaking minute of that method!!!

So right about here I'm smashed...  I'm about ready to roll around on the floor and convulse for real - but I'm ecstatic!  That's the hardest I've ever worked my body in my life - and by god, did I FEEL IT!!!   (... and I'm still feeling it tonight!  So stiff and sore in the quads and glutes from all the squats - amazing what happens when you do them properly!!!... and my arms are still touchy!   AWESOME!! 

.. and you know what... I think I quietly impressed the man!   I didn't wimp out, I didn't puke (though it was a close call!), I worked hard, fast and pushed...  and I think the "princess" that walked through the door at the beginning earnt his respect!  ;)    

... or so I heard!!!!   I was too busy trying to recuperate, breathe, walk it out and feel human again while everyone else was there chatting away about the session!!!   I did ask him if I'm allowed to complain and whinge about it though, and he'd said YES, which resulted in much whinging and a few lower-range expletives thereafter, hahahaha!

And then out came the cameras.... (after I'm head to toe in sweat?!! Ahhh!) - but well worth it...   I can now officially say I have sweated WITH and ON Commando Steve!!!  And my sis said (when I'd gone to go grab my gear) that there was mention that my "cardio was fantastic" and I think I may have even inspired the guy to go do a lil session himself... hehehe!

AMAZING session and experience overall - VERY grateful for the opportunity, and his theory session certainly hasn't gone astray!  I plan on putting all I learnt back into practice in my next Pump class (I now know how to squat and press properly without hurting myself, and hitting all the RIGHT muscles for once!!!).... and I've now seen what I'm capable of doing when I push to the extreme!   ... and wow, to see those results in half the time it normally takes me was just a MONSTER incentive to really knuckle in and push this hard more often!

.... and no session would be complete without a bit of "bonding" at the end...!!!  (after all, he had nearly just killed me....!)

I asked him, sheepishly, if I could "please have a hug, as the girls on my forums would really love it!" (yep, I blamed you lot, hahaha!).... and proceeded to cover the Commando in my sweat... !   Ohhhh yeah, I'm one classy piece of work!  ;)

But it didn't quite end there...  He handed me an envelope, and I was told "This is your next challenge - don't open it until Sunday..."     SO now I'm holding out for tomorrow to find out what on earth this envelope has in store for me for Week Six!!!   (eek!)

.... and then I got his autograph!   (as you do!)  and tried not to run into the wall on my way out when I was too busy thanking him over and over again...!!!!

OHH and Commando Steve says:  "And if anyone else wants to come and train with me, check out the website"...  and I promised to spruik it for him, hahaha!

The Princess did good yeah?!!    :D



Heading back to the motel, I head upstairs to change, and try and disguise my sweaty make-up smeared face (hahhaha)...   Then back down to the motel's lounge area, for a chat with the BLC girls and Susie Burrell - the Club's nutrition expert, and host of the Club's member meetings. 

Just a casual chat about what I've done, where I've been, where I'm headed and what happens "in the future" when I hit maintenance...  MAINTENANCE!  Now there's a word I never thought would exist in my mission - and yet here I am approaching the end...!!! 

A very insightful chat with these ladies, and VERY helpful to get my head around what I need to look at in the future to fine-tune the nutrition even further, and really gear up for the transition ahead. 

... and some super kudos for me when Susie said "there's absolutely no reason why you won't reach goal...".    Damn straight!!! 


What a killer and AMAZING week!   Bring on Week SIX already!!!!

xxx  :)


  1. Oh darling Amy you are amazing. Thank you thank you thank you for the videos too...I really need to watch the one demonstrating the correct squat form repeatedly LOL bahahahahhahahahhhhhaaa entirely so I can be certain I'm of course doing it correctly :O What were you thinking?

  2. had FUN!!!! That is sooo cool! I have no idea how you kept focus though! Great to hear you had sucha fantatsic trip and training session! Bring on the last weeks of the are so going to get there!

  3. oh Amy, that is brilliant!!! you lucky lucky girl!! BUT you fabulous fabulous girl, you totally deserve this!!! A friend of mine used to do Cross Fit training in Sydney and even just hearing about it made me hurt - you ROCK!!!! And thanks for the pics and vids - he's not too hard on the eye is he??? heehee ;) You should be freakin' proud of you!!!! MWAH!

  4. mmmmm love the pics :D

    At least now when you meet him for dinner you wont be so flustered :D

  5. So proud of you Amy!! You will do amazing things & you will reach your goal sooner rather than later!! <3<3<3

  6. So,So, proud of you Amy.You will make your Goal i have never doubted you
    Love Jean

  7. Well done that you! Brilliant work. And didn't you know, giving your trainer of the opposite sex a sweaty hug is what you're supposed to do. They sorta like it! So glad you had a great session (very envious)

  8. Super freaking AHMAZING!!!! Incredible work Amy xx Mel

  9. OMFG Amy!! That is AMAZING!! I'm so glad you had this experience... you deserved every second of it! I totally get what you mean about both crossfit AND the Commando doing pull-ups! I did CrossFit for a whole two weeks (yes, I'm soft AND weak) when my husband was a regular there.... It is HARD and yes, it redefined what I understood a squat to be!

    The first time I walked into the CrossFit Brisbane gym, the Commando was there on a CrossFit games day; I was confronted by Commando Steve from behind, three meters in front of me; shirtless; doing muscle ups (think chin-ups on steroids! Scary!). My poor husband had to reach over and close my mouth to stop the drool dripping out, haha!

    I'm so glad you got to 'experience' him in person too ;)

    So proud of you!! x

  10. omg AMy sooo amazing honey... i sooo loved reading this .... i was sooo happy for you ...your happiness shines thorugh beautiful girl....big hugs to you and congrats...i am soo proud of you :) xxx

  11. Oh Amy, what an awesome experience. I could feel all of your emotions as I was reading your blog! That must have just made you feel great that you survived one of the Commando's workout sessions! Can't wait to hear what this weeks weight loss is after all of you hard work.

  12. Just amazing!! I'm still reeling from it... my quads actually hurt if I touch them still - so I definitely did something right in there!! hahaha...

  13. looks like you had a great time amy, is that a sumo deadlift? I have been doing crossfit in tassie on and off for a few years, pretty full on but great for you. You look awesome too by the way!

  14. Well done is two words that doesn't do your journey justice.

    There'll be a Commando of your own in your future too! He'll be a very lucky guy!

  15. C'mon, It is Sunday...what's in the envelope??

  16. Oh Amy - You SURVIVED with a smile on your face!!! Well done you.
    And to impress the Commando in the process......
    You go girl!!! Love Cazz71

  17. Awww god you guys are gorgeous!!! xxx

    In the mysterious envelope.... words, lots and lots of words... It's a 'word challenge' this week!

    Gonna be a VERY emotional challenge I think!

  18. Hey darlin' girl, so pleased to see one of your dreams come true! Would've stopped by earlier but I'm away from normal internet access for the most part for a couple of days. I did manage to take a sneak peak on my mobile phone last night tho, lol! *hugs*

  19. so excited for you! it looks like you got a great work out, AND, more importantly you had fun too. is he as scary in person as he is on the show??????? did he yell at all? (thats a no, cos you did everything right!!!) mmmmm i think i wouldnt have been able to function!!!! yummo!

  20. Go Amy !! you look fantastic, what a inspiration

  21. Geez, I spend 3 nights away and find this lot when I come back!
    Looks like you had an amazing time Amy. So pleased you got so much out of it...also some pretty good pics and videos.
    You're going to blitz it in sweetie!